Friday, 27 June 2008

attention wallpaper commitment-phobes...

Velvet feature panel decal, $60, The Wall Sticker Company

...this one is for you: decal wallpaper! The Wall Sticker Company have come up with this ingenious idea. In panels of 1 metre long by 63cm wide, it makes a pretty feature panel that can be removed so easily when you tire of it, would rather it on another wall or wished it was 10 centimetres to the left of where it currently is! At the moment it's only available in this pattern above, but hopefully it'll take off and they'll come up with more varieties. Each panel is $60. Check it out here

EDIT: Have just heard from Fiona from The Wall Sticker Company who wanted to let me know this cool wallpaper panel is available in a STACK of colours and also custom design - so if there is a particular design you want, they can do it for you. How very awesome!

newsflash: real living is excellent

Winner of General Excellence for Home and Food

Us employees of the mag have thought it for some time - and we know a lot of our readers have too. And now it's official: real living is excellent! Last night, our little mag won the General Excellence Award for the Home and Food category at the Magazine Publisher's of Australia Magazine of the Year Awards. Yay for us! Sadly, we just missed out on Magazine of the Year, but no doubt we'll get there eventually. So congrats to the whole team and thanks to our loyal fan club of readers for whom we bust our butts every month to not disappoint! It's obviously paid off!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

easy project: customised plywood letter

"L" is for Layla. And because I can do girlie things now I have a daughter, I cut out a few pretty pink paper butterflies and stuck them on the wall.

With my new addition to the family, I of course had to add her initial to the wall somewhere as everyone else in the house has one! But even I'm bored with the usual white or plywood letters out there, so thought I'd jazz it up a little with some paper. And being the nice person I am, I thought I'd go all Martha on you and show you step-by-step how to do it. However, it's so easy and pretty self-explanatory so I must apologise for making you feel five years old!

Your toolkit: letter, $4 and paper 80c, craft store. Spray glue, $8, hardware. Also required: newspaper

Step 1: Place the plywood letter on top of the paper right-side up and cut roughly around the shape of the letter, leaving a margin of around a centimetre. You don't have to do this, but it does make it easier to work with and also if you're tight like me, you can keep the leftover paper for other projects!

Step 2: Turn over paper cut out, pop onto newspaper and spray glue adhesive all over. Follow the instructions on the can, but it'll usually tell you to wait until it's a bit tacky before sticking

Step 3: Apply to the front of the letter and press firmly all over so the glue sticks nicely

Step 4: Turn letter over, hold firmly with one hand and use the other to cut the excess paper off. Use the letter itself like you would a ruler to cut it perfectly around the shape

Step 5: Hang wherever you like!

For more customised-letters ideas that don't actually involve you doing anything harder than spelling a name for someone else to create, check these out here. Don't you love how I keep sending you between the two blogs? How very sneaky of me!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

virtual moodboard: decor8/amy butler moodboard contest

How much work has gone into this? I love, love the tiny little ballet shoes!! Moodboard by Elaine Lee

Sometimes a collection of inspiring images is inspiration in itself. I love looking at people's moodboards - it's like peeking into their world and getting a feel for their style and taste through things they find pretty, they covet or have collected over time. So I was very happy to see Decor8 and Amy Butler's moodboard contest again this year. The finalists have just been announced and some of them are just beautiful. A lot of work has gone into them. Entrants had to design a room around a print from Amy's collection. You can vote online for your fave finalists here or check out all the entries here. Here are my two votes!

I can totally see this as a real room! Moodboard by Kathryn Louise who happens to have a very lovely blog and Etsy shop too!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

my new rug

A beige cow hide and white architraves lighten the room up a little

My combined birthday/mother's day gift arrived the other day - a beige cow hide. I've been searching for the right rug for the living room for what seems like forever. I did buy my Ezibuy zebra rug, but it was always a temporary solution until I found The One and then it would call Zak's room home. So the search was on: the ones I liked were ridiculously expensive. Or from overseas. Or just didn't seem to exist. So after being bombarded by light-coloured cow hides in pretty much every single issue of Real Living for the past year, I jumped on the bandwagon. And I love it. It's lightened up the room, along with the freshly painted white architraves (I made Steve redo them from the brown.)

The other side - a sheepskin, erm, keeps with the animal theme...

And now for the good news. If you're after one yourself and are a little horrified by the $700 price tags they seem to start at, visit Leffler and get a quote from them. Their hides are $99 per square metre, so mine cost a grand total of $350 - including shipping and GST. A bargain me thinks! And the staff are very lovely, answering all my hundreds of emails and questions with patience and grace. Now I just have to get the curtains back up - that window and door area really lets in the freezing cold night air. Brrr.

Monday, 23 June 2008

I heart this photo wall

Loving this lovely love heart. Pic from Cookie mag

This is hardly a new pic, but in case you're one of the five people who haven't seen it, I thought I'd share. How simple and effective is it? No frames, no holes in the wall... just print out and stick on the wall in a gorgeously graphic heart shape. I think it's the best idea for candid pics - usually you don't display the funny or the odd because you'd rather reserve wall space for the arty, posed or pretty. But putting the ones you love but would normally hide away in a box or pin on a noticeboard into a cool shape like this means you get to see your faves all day every day, but others will really only notice the heart and your amazing styling skills!

Friday, 20 June 2008

eye candy: a house by the seaside

How comes my clashing fabrics never look this good?!?

I know nothing about this place or the people who live there, but I love the look of it! While I don't have it in my own home, I like the look of vintage furniture, especially when paired with modern pieces. I think this homeowner has done a great job giving each room personality through cool furniture and what looks to be her own handiwork such as the striped wall in her daughter's room, wall murals and a photo collage on a cupboard. Thought you might like the house tour too. Have a great weekend.
PS: I posted a couple of new pics of Zak and Layla on my new blog, Mini Meez

All pics from Inside Photo

Thursday, 19 June 2008

thing #372 to do with wallpaper that doesn't involve a wall

I think I prefer wallpaper on everything but walls!

Poor work must be bored of me emailing them wallpaper ideas - you should see the awesome bedhead in a house story coming out next month - but really, some people are so clever. Case in point? Our deputy, Nat, who I just featured below in the shared spaces. In an effort to bring some homemade style to her Ikea Expedit bookcase and make it stand out from, well, everyone else's house, she bought the clear plastic storage containers that fit it and painstakingly cut out squares of wallpaper to fit the front of them, not only hiding the contents, but doing so stylishly. She even did the holes! How good does it look? A+ for effort! I love all these ideas with wallpaper - doors, parts of walls, silhouettes, decoupage, canvases, bedheads, frames - it's such a simple way to bring pattern and colour into a space without overpowering the room. It's also cheaper, changeable and very cool. Holly at Decor8 recently blogged about a similar thing - that the trend seems to be partially covering a wall with wallpaper or framing it on there like a large artwork rather than doing an entire wall. Have you seen any other ideas? I'm all eyes and ears...

my new blog

Etsy find: Lil Sock Baby Rattle, $US16, Chickabiddybaby

For some silly reason I've decided to create more work for myself! In an effort not to alienate those not interested in baby things, I've set up a new blog - Mini Meez - to talk about all things related to babies and pregnancy. I've been thinking about doing it for a while, but since I know that's all I'll want to talk about at the moment, now seemed a good time to do it! So pop on over if you want things like birth stories, labour-pain techniques, cool gifts, product reviews, nursery ideas and inspiration and just general baby/motherhood info. I'll try not to go overboard with proud parent pics and actually post some (hopefully) helpful info as well. And I'll do my best to not neglect this blog at the same time. I just might not post as regularly - not only because I'll have two blogs, but because I have two babies!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

shared spaces

Making combined rooms work takes work!
Just like in our everyday life, multitasking is becoming the norm of our homes - there never seems to be enough space for all our... stuff... so we have to double up. Guest room and study, home office in the living room, garage slash rumpus room, craft room and laundry... My own home has a combined guest room/living area/Steve's study; cabin and junk room; and as you all well know, combined master bedroom/nursery. It's sometimes hard to figure out how to make these rooms look decent when they're home to sometimes two entirely different things. And I don't even really have a solution for you - just some inspiration from two clever women I know who've combined their rooms. One tip I do have: keep the decor scheme relatively simple so as not to clutter an already busy room.

Natalie's nursery and office
First up, congrats to Nat, real living's deputy editor and author of Daily Imprint blog, and her hubby Daniel on the birth of their son Charles on Monday! Here is a sneak peak of his stylish nursery - Nat has a real knack for combining modern and vintage pieces. I wish I could do that!

Little Charles' corner of the room

Amy's bedroom, living room and office
Amy is real living's intern and we featured her rather large room at her family home on our website this month. Living at home, she managed to cram sleeping, working and relaxing zones into the one room through clever furniture placement and a simple, soothing colour palette. You can also see more pics on Deb's blog.

Amy's "bedroom" is separated from her office and living area with an open shelving unit that acts as a room divider. The openess of it allows the light to flow through.

My bedroom and nursery
Just in case you haven't seen it enough (!), Ohdeedoh featured my room as a nursery tour the day I went into labour! You can read the feature about how I did it and see a few more pics here.

So weird seeing your own home on someone else's website!!

and so it begins...

It's been a week since I've given birth to Layla (who, by the way, is still an angel and is getting more beautiful every day) and I've become all shopping obsessed again. This happened with Zak - my love for internet shopping in the weeks after he was born almost overtook my love for him. Oh ok it got nowhere close, but I did spend way too much time online when I probably should have been sleeping. And I've already started planning how I'd redecorate Zak's room to accomodate a girl and a boy when Layla eventually moves in with him. Much more challenging but much more fun, I think! Anyway, here's my new shopping list - so far. I can already cross the first two things off - they arrived this morning!

Giddy Giddy hair clip (I got it in red), $11.95, Baby's Got Style

Britt Design Ballerina Cuddle Booties, $32.95, Baby's Got Style

DwellBaby Pig Cushion, $59.95, Kidostore

Flensted Butterflies Mobile, $48, Kidostore

And now thanks (and also slight curses for making me spend more money!) to the following commenters who I snooped on, fell in love with their talent and will be buying from as soon as it's payday...

Leslie @ Onegirl
Is this the cutest little guy ever? It's called an Oobee. She says on her Etsy site: "What is an oobee, you ask? Is it a bear, a dear, a dog, a monkey? You decide, that's part of the fun. I like to think they're a little of each." I think give it antlers and it'd be a deer. This is her newest style - called "merle le well dressed oobee". Check out the skinny pants - very well-dressed indeed!

merle le well dressed oobee, onegirl

Rachel @ Grandy & Baa
I love little handmade touches to kids clothes - in fact, I just made something similar to these little shirts as gifts to a couple of friends who've just had babies (it's a baby boom!) - although nowhere near as good as these! This rhino is so cute - I'm going to get this in a bodysuit version. Love, love the fabrics.

Rosie Rhino Onesie, $US21, Grandy & Baa

Chantal @ Styled Baby
Not her own work, but Chantal alerted me to some great Etsy sellers on her cool site, Styled Baby, such as these adorable rattle toys. I think Layla will love them (although Zak will no doubt steal the ball - might have to get him one too!). Thanks also Chantal
for your sweet words about Layla and for this gorgeous gift guide - some great ideas for pressies for new mums.

Carnival Bloom - Large Jingle Bell Cloth Ball, $US12, AppleBlossomBaby

Zoo Creatures Teething Rattle - Mendhi Elephant, $US6,

Friday, 13 June 2008

Introducing... Layla Belle Graham

Layla Belle Graham
Wednesday June 11, 2008 at 3.42pm
Weight: 3.92kg or 8lb 10
Length: 54cm

Little Pud has finally arrived! And it's a girl, so my theory was wrong! She came into the world rather swiftly on Wednesday and was very good to her mum - five hours of mildish contractions and a couple of pushes later, we got to meet her (am sooo glad I didn't go home as was offered as would have had her there! Eek!) She's a little sweetheart and so far, has been an angel baby, sleeping all the time! Zak is rather pleased he has a little playmate - poor thing has already been high-fived, kissed, headbutted and tickled! All the important things. I said next time you see me it'd be a cheesy family pic, but, well it's an almost family pic. Poor Steve was playing photographer and I didn't realise till just before we have none altogether yet. So stay tuned cause I'll no doubt bore you all to tears with updates. Oh and apologies for the lack of clothes (and info), but she kinda caught me by surprise in the shower!

A rare glimpse of her eyes!

Zakky meeting his little sister. He calls her "La la la"

My perfect pink bundle

I'm off to wake her so I can feed and change her - it sounds wrong, doesn't it? But seriously, I've seen her eyes open for a grand total of about 20 minutes each day! Back soon

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

top trend: deer antlers

Freedom's antler chandelier, $399: hot or not?

I've suddenly noticed a whole heap of deers and and their antlers used in decor at the moment. In fact, I even have some in my house - artwork, flat-pack wood deer head... But the real trend is in the antler lamps and chandeliers. Freedom have jumped on the bandwagon and have no less than three versions of antler lighting.

Freedom's antler table lamp, $169. A floor lamp and pack of two antler decorations ($89) are also available.

I personally quite like the sculptural element of them and the fact they're not REAL antlers (well, I really hope so anyway), but wonder if they'd overpower a room a little too much. What I do like, is how random (again, hopefully fake) antlers as decoration have sprung up, replacing driftwood as the coffee-table nature display of choice.

Antler, $85, from Cotton Love

I've considered buying a nice white one like the one above to pop against the brown wall in my living room. But my question is: would this, along with a real cow hide (which should be arriving any day) and numerous animal-print fabrics throughout my house and, um, deer stuff as mentioned above make me look like a crazy wildlife hunter? Or do I already look like one? Because I most certainly am not one of those... I just happen to like these items from nature in a home environment. And aside from the hide - which, well, let's just say will come from a multi-purpose cow - none are real. But I'm curious, what do you think about these animal trends that keep popping up?

still no bloody baby!!!!!!!!

Pud is obviously having a blast in there. Pic from Getty

Grrr. I'm now five days overdue. It feels like five weeks. The last few weeks have gone s-o-o-o s-l-o-w-l-y. I have put the fact I can barely move to good use by sleeping a lot - might as well while I can!
In baby-related news: Ohdeedoh will apparently feature my non-existent child's nursery/combined bedroom as their nursery tour tomorrow, so look out for that. Hopefully I won't get to see it. Only because this will mean I'll be in hospital in a whole lot of GOOD pain.

Monday, 2 June 2008

July issue out now!

July 2008 issue is out today

Wow the months go quickly in magland - July is on the stands today, August will be put to bed next week, September content is filing into the office, October is being shot and we're talking about features for the summer issues and Christmas already. Scary! No wonder we get confused about what month we're in! Anyway, here is the current issue - filled with ways to decorate with recycled items, a home bar shopping guide, great kitchen and bathroom ideas, house tours and offices that don't look like offices, yummy food, gorgeous gardens... Pick it up, have a read and let us know what you think! And don't forget the website and Deb's blog for all the behind the scenes stuff.